Overview

With the assistance of our local guides, you’ll spend a week-long mountain biking holiday exploring the trails that criss-cross the main island of São Miguel. There are no guide books for these trails – the routes you’ll ride are based on local knowledge with five full day rides around Sete Cidades, Lagoa da Fogo, Lagoa das Furnas, Faial de Terra, and Pico da Barossa.

There’s also time away from your bike – to go whale watching, swimming with dolphins, kayaking and canyoning, or simply enjoying the café bars and restaurants of Ponta Delgada.

Transfers and uplifts are included in the mountain biking holiday, together with a picnic lunch on each of your full day rides. There’s also a beach BBQ on your final night (weather permitting).

As the islands are pretty remote, it’s tricky to offer a full range of spares (should you need to replace something like an 11 speed SRAM derailleur for example), so we prefer to include hire bikes in our mountain biking holidays.

Please note : bike hire is not included but our guides have an excellent range of full-suss bikes available to hire – mostly Commencal and Kona, 26”, 27.5” or 29” subject to availability, 10 speed SRAM chainsets, Shimano XT brakes and Reverb dropper posts.

We can also include your choice of a full face or open helmet, body armour and either flat or SPD pedals, all free of charge.

Itinerary

Fly London to São Miguel. You will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred (10mins) to your hotel in Ponta Delgada. Overnight at Hotel do Colegio for 7 nights.
Lagoa do Fogo - our first full day ride explores the area around Lagoa do Fogo, probably the most impressive and ‘wild’ crater lake of all the islands. The morning is a mix of short fire road climbs and single-track descents, always accompanied by spectacular views. After a picnic lunch on the shores of the lake, you’ll descend down back down to sea level following an undulating, twisting single-track descent through dense woodland of Himalayan ginger, hydrangeas, and Japanese cedar. The day ends with a swim at the beach from the beach at Praia de Baixe da Areia.
Sete Cidades ride - Sete Cidades (or Seven Cities) is the largest of all the caldeiras on the island. The crater is 5km across and 15 km in circumference - its rim lies at 700m and is covered in lush vegetation; Himalayan ginger, blue hydrangea hedges and green dairy meadows. Today’s ride begins on the shores of Lagoa Verde (the green lake) in the bottom of the crater, with a steep and technical climb up to the King’s Viewpoint (Vista do Rei) and onto the lesser known lakes of Lagoa Rasa and Lagoa de Santiago. After lunch you might like to explore the village of Sete Cidades itself or you might prefer to ride back up onto the crater rim, to circumnavigate the great crater.
Free day – today we've included a half day whale and dolphin watching trip from the local marina in Ponta Delgada. Other available activities include swimming with dolphins, canyoning or kayaking. If you'd like to include one of these activities instead, we'll let you know the additional cost.
Furnas and Ribeira Quente – Furnas is the most easterly volcano on Sao Miguel and is often referred to as the central highlands. Your ride begins with a gentle warmup around the shoreline of Lagoa das Furnas (Furnas Lake). Here you will see the bubbling mud pools, sulphurous steam vents and the cozido cooking holes which the area is famous for. Cozido is a traditional meal which is cooked in the volcanic ground and is served in most of the restaurants in the village – our post ride meal at the end of the day. Our ride takes us out of the crater and up to the summit of Pico da Areia (471m) with its panoramic view across Ribeira Quente river valley and out across the Atlantic. The fire road quickly narrows into single-track for what is the arguably the best descent on the island: Simplesmente o melhor. This trail has a little bit of everything: fast singletrack, awkward rooty sections, steep rocky steps and tight switchbacks, all leading you down to the village of Ribeira Quente on the coast. Finally, there’s a gentle road climb up through the beautiful river valley back to Furnas for a swim in a volcanically heated pool, followed by cozido in a local restaurant.
Faial da Terra - Faial da Terra is the closest thing the archipelago has to a trail centre. This small parish in the far south east of the island is the Mecca of mountain bike sports in the Azores, with 10 regularly maintained technical descents with a mix of flowing single-track, rooty forests, and rocky technical sections. You will spend the day using uplifts to do as many trails here as you can with lunch taken in the village.
Pico da Barrosa - our final day is more about fun and less about effort. We’ll drive up to the peak of Pico da Barrosa (3017ft), with its panoramic view of the north and south coasts )and Lagoa do Fogo (Fire Lake) nestled in the largest of the caldeiras far below). From here we have two long descents to choose from: Via Rapido and a Catedral (the former is fast and flowy, the latter more technical). If you have the legs, you can drive back to the top for a second run, and once the riding is over it’s time for a farewell BBQ overlooking the Atlantic ocean.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to London.

Price Per Person

We can create a tailor-made holiday to suit your budget.

Jan

£NA

Feb

£NA

Mar

£NA

Apr

£1368

May

£1368

Jun

£1468

Jul

£1580

Aug

£1580

Sep

£1580

Oct

£1368

Nov

£NA

Dec

£NA

INCLUDED : Accommodation on a B&B basis in a shared twin or double room, all transfers, 5 x days of guided mountain biking (with lunch), a farewell BBQ (weather permitting) and taxes. EXCLUDED : Meals (other than those stated), insurance and drinks. As the islands are pretty remote, they don't have a wide range of spares available (should you need to replace something like a derailleur) - we recommend hiring bikes in the Azores. Our guides have an excellent range of full-suss bikes available to hire - mostly Commencal and Kona, 26”, 27.5” or 29”, 10 speed SRAM chainsets, Shimano XT brakes and Reverb dropper posts. Additional cost for good quality full suss bike hire is around £200.

Accommodation

You'll be based in the lovely 4 star Hotel do Colegio in the heart of the old part of Ponta Delgada, just 10 minutes walk from the sea front. If you prefer other accommodation though, just let us know.

Activities

Your mountain biking week visits the scenic highlights of the island and includes five full day rides around Sete Cidades, Lagoa da Fogo, Lagoa das Furnas, Faial de Terra, and Pico da Barossa.

Location

São Miguel is the main island of the archipelago and offers the widest range of mountain biking trails and some of the most spectacular scenery in the Azores.

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